Jets Address Right Wing Depth, Make Questionable Add in Devin Setoguchi

Kevin McCartney
July 07 2013 05:35AM

 

Photo by Dinur

Here at Jets Nation, I spend a lot of time trying to fix the second line. I mean, like, way more time than Kevin Cheveldayoff does (can we call him the Other Kevin yet?). Recently I suggested Michael Ryder for the job, and also Ales Hemsky as a discount trade option. Yesterday the Jets finally made a move to address the gaping hole in their lineup most recently filled by Antti Miettinen and Kyle Wellwood by bringing in one-time 30 goal scorer Devin Setoguchi for a 2014 2nd round pick. 

The catch is that he truly is a one-time 30 goal scorer, averaging just 22 goals and 42 points per 82 games when his top season is excluded. Those totals have context, of course, and this past year Setoguchi was the 17th highest scoring right winger by points per 60 minutes of even strength ice time. The year prior, he was the 71st highest scoring right winger by the same metric. Who is the Gucher, really?

Today, our own Travis Hrubeniuk wrote a very interesting article looking at how Setoguchi's centres have affected his play. Seriously, read it. I'll wait.

Michael Russo of the StarTribune notes Setoguchi's hot streak with Matt Cullen as his centre last year. The devil is in the details, of course. Setoguchi scored 17 of his 27 points last season between February 26th and March 30 - a span of 17 of the 47 games he played on the year. For the math impaired, that's 10 points spread out over his other 30 games. It wasn't just a streak - it was the difference between calling Setoguchi a bust and calling him a scorer. 

Context

Let's look at some contextual stats.

SEASON

TEAM

GP

TOI/60

Corsi QoC

Corsi Relative

Corsi On

PDO

Off Zone Start %

Off Zone Finish %

2007-2008 Season

S.J

44

11.57

-1.027

-1.8

5.89

1036

60.1

54.1

2008-2009 Season

S.J

81

12.99

0.274

0.4

8.9

1017

54.5

54.9

2009-2010 Season

S.J

70

12.57

0.344

-1.9

1.7

1017

53.1

53.7

2010-2011 Season

S.J

72

12.95

-0.552

-1.7

6.63

992

55.5

50.9

2011-2012 Season

MIN

69

14.16

1.107

13.7

-2.7

977

50.6

49

2012-2013 Season

MIN

48

12.21

-0.634

-4.9

-4.9

1030

48.6

44.9

One of these things is not like the others

Photo by Dinur

His first season with Minnesota stands out as an unusual year. He faced tougher competition and he seemed to do reasonably well by it. Maybe that's all that happened to make him drop to 71st best scoring RW in the league that year. Still, I show his raw Corsi-on for a reason. That team was so bad that his negative corsi number alongside top centre Mikko Koivu translated into a massive positive relative corsi.  He also saw more than an extra minute per 60 of 5x5 time compared to his next highest season. Before we jump to conclusions, he also had the most powerplay time of his career that year. He was legitimately moved up the lineup for that season, falling back down after scoring 36 points and going -17 on the 24th place WIld.

What can we expect?

Apart from that single season, Setoguchi has faced a fairly easy assignment with good zone starts. He's struggled slightly with injury, and I will be watching his skating in particular. Why? Well, early in his career, Setoguchi drew a lot of penalties - more than twice as many as he took himself - but that has dried up in Minnesota. That may be a style of game, or it may be that injuries have slowed him somewhat. 

He's originally an 8th overall pick, and when put with a quality playmaking centre (Thorton, Cullen), can score. But he is also very streaky, and adds little else to the club. Is his average of 42 points a season better than Kyle Wellwood, who scored 47 for the Jets two years ago? Moreover, his value contract of $3M is somewhat less impressive next to Ryder's new deal with New Jersey of $3.5M given that Ryder has six 50-pt seasons and Setoguchi has one. Still, he's a better powerplay player than Miettinen (obviously) and has the upside of the quality second-line scorer the Jets so badly need.

Setoguchi seems like a compromise addition to me - a player who barely qualifies as a top-six player and who needs help to score coming on to a team that really needed a player who could make others score, whether it be the struggling Olli Jokinen or the rookie Mark Scheifele. Setoguchi is young, has talent, cost only a draft pick, and doesn't come with a long commitment. Those are all reasons to be excited. Yet, chemistry is a major factor for this player, and so we wait with unease for what October will bring. 

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Kevin is the Managing Editor of Jets Nation. His work has been featured on Bleacher Report, The Sporting News, and around the Nations Network. An enthusiastic over-analyst, his background and interests are diverse, but you might notice he's obsessed with hockey. Track him down on twitter @kevinmccart or @nhljetsnation
Avatar
#1 morte
July 08 2013, 12:01PM
Trash it!
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trashes
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props

Problem is that as far as I'm concerned he will turn UFA after next season, so even ef he performs above expectations we may not be able to keep him.

Avatar
#2 The Last Big Bear
July 08 2013, 07:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
+1
0
props

The Jets are hardly in a position to be turning their noses up at under-30 years old, 20+ goal scorers, who can be had for nothing more than a draft pick.

Chemistry may be a serious consideration with this player. Which makes the loss of one of the better centre options (Burmistrov) an even bigger calamity for the Jets.

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